Laparoscopy has seen many advances and changes during the last few years, although this has always been limited by the constraints of two dimensional (2D) imaging. Conventional 2D laparoscopy lacks both depth perception and spatial orientation, possibly affecting surgical performance and operative time. Three dimensional laparoscopy on the other hand offers the surgeon a more natural visualization of the operating site with depth perception. This allows procedures to be performed more efficiently and accurately than is possible with 2D laparoscopy; all of which adds up to increased safety for patients and better outcomes.
Robots were the first systems to introduce 3DHD vision for laparoscopic procedures, however they are very costly and lack tactile feedback. Until recently, Viking Systems (acquired by Conmed last year) has been the only stand alone, FDA cleared and CE-marked cost effective alternative to robotics that offered a 3DHD vision system for use in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.
Now, after Olympus announced on April 9, 2013 that it had received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its articulating 3D HD Laparoscopic Surgical Video, there is new option to consider for 3D visualization. The Olympus 3D platform consists of a 3D module that can be added to an existing EVIS EXERA III Universal Imaging system and to the world’s only articulating HD 3D Video laparoscope, the ENDOEYE FLEX 3D. Since the platform is a module that can be added to existing systems, this significantly reduces the necessary investment required for 3D visualization, especially when compared to a robot.
Dr. Marcos Michellotti, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Loma Linda University Health System in Loma Linda, California has said, “The Olympus HD 3D system is ideal for suturing, accurately identifying tissue planes and other precision surgical tasks that are required in my laparoscopic surgical cases.” He also went on to add, “In addition, the articulating design enables me to obtain the critical view of anatomical structures in HD 3D without losing the important visual horizon. This is not possible with traditional fixed angle laparoscopes.”
Olympus showcased the new system at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) 2013 conference in Baltimore, MD last week. The new surgical system and 3DHD articulating laparoscope will be available late April 2013 and MD Buyline will offer more information once the system is available.